Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger is adamant his side will do well in the Europa League should they drop out of the Champions League group stages.
The Gunners will host Croatian side, Dinamo Zagreb in a must win encounter on Tuesday night, to keep any chance of getting out of the group stages alive.
Even then, anything other than a victory for Bayern Munich over Olympiacos in Germany would see Wenger’s side eliminated – but they could finish third and drop into the Europa League.
Arsenal have qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League for fifteen consecutive times, and for the first time since 2000, may drop to the Europa League, with Wenger insisting his team will take the Europa seriously, if they were to drop out of the Champions League.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Arsenal’s crucial game against Dinamo Zagreb, the 66-year old said: “We would take the competition seriously – but we are not out (of the Champions League) yet.
“I believe that this problem is exaggerated a little bit in England because we play Wednesday and Saturday, so it is the same as Thursday and Sunday. I can’t see the difference.
“There are plenty of examples in Portugal and Spain where teams have taken it seriously and won the championship. Benfica are the example, Sevilla have done well.”
The Arsenal boss rejected claims that group leaders Bayern and Olympiacos could play out a draw at the Allianz Arena that would see both sides qualify at Arsenal’s expense.
He said: “If Bayern don’t win they could still be second in the group because they go to Zagreb where they can lose.
“In front of their crowd they will want to win. That will be really Machiavellian to think they will deliberately lose to get us out.”
Wenger also questioned UEFA’s doping rules, after his side lost 2-1 in the opening group game against Dinamo Zagreb who had one of their players fail a drug test after the game, with the Arsenal manager saying the club should be disqualified from the competition.
Wenger said: “It’s a surprising rule. UEFA applies the rule that is planned but I personally don’t agree with the rule.
“You cannot say that they had a doped player but the result stands. That means you basically accept doping.”